Bike racers look forward to all kinds of prizes. Now, there’s something everyone can look forward to — sustainability. Cyclists in the Slow Coast Green Fondo bike tour later this month will shift gears on the conventional cyclosportive by riding to raise money for local nonprofits.
Sean Holman successfully orchestrated last year’s Swanton Loop Challenge, in which riders raised over $9,100 for the Homeless Garden Project. Holman, organizer of this year’s Slow Coast Green Fondo, will return April 29 to present his green take on the “gran fondo,” which is Italian for “long ride.” Cyclists will ride — not race — a 56-mile course through the Santa Cruz Mountains before attending a “slow food” dinner at Main Street Garden and Café in Soquel with wine tasting, a raffle and an auction to benefit five Santa Cruz nonprofits.
Through a $500 fundraising commitment from 100 riders, the organizers hope to raise at least $50,000 to split among the five nonprofits.
“There’s an appetite for a different kind of cycling experience these days,” Holman said.
Funds raised will benefit Ecology Action, Save Our Shores, Food What?!, Diabetic Youth Foundation and Santa Cruz County Cycling Club.
On ride day, Holman will be pedaling for the cause and looks forward to handing out prizes.
“It’s an immediate way to make a really impactful difference in the community,” he said. “You’re providing an experience for people, have a great day on a bike in a great location and then get connected right with people in the community.”